June 18, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Lubbock, Texas – The Department of Labor has asked the federal district court for North Texas to throw out an attempt to prevent it from enforcing its April rule that employers must inform workers when they hire union-busting consultants.
The “Persuader Rule” is supposed to go into effect July 1, but 10 states—all so-called “right to work” states, including Texas, Michigan, South Carolina, and Wisconsin—have asked for a preliminary injunction to stop it. The 10 states joined the National Federation of Independent Business in arguing that the rule violates attorney-client privilege and interferes with states’ rights to regulate the practice of law. In a brief filed June 9, the Labor Department argues that requiring employers to tell workers the name of the consultant they’ve hired and what they’re doing is not forcing them to reveal confidential information, because attorney-client privilege does not protect “the fact of legal consultation or employment, clients’ identities, attorney’s fees, and the scope and nature of employment.” A decision is expected before July 1. Read more